All Sheep Now Eligible for CFAP Payments
American sheep producers are now eligible for additional support through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program after it was announced on Tuesday that all sheep greater than 2 years of age have been added to the program. Originally, CFAP covered only lambs and yearlings.
The American Sheep Industry Association filed formal comments with the U.S. Department of Agriculture in June documenting the requisite 5 percent minimum loss to be eligible for COVID-19 assistance. The department had only been able to find the supportive data on young ewe sales initially, however, used the association documentation to support this week’s announcement. ASI President Benny Cox suggests up to two million head of running age ewes will be eligible and encouraged sheep producer members to check with their FSA office to update their CFAP applications. The additional coverage is being offered at $24 per head on sales from January – April 15 and $7 per head on inventory of ewes.
Cox added that the additional ewe payments plus the automatic payment of the 20 percent which was initially withheld from all CFAP recipients should put the sheep industry close to $50 million total in the coming weeks. With a loss projection of $125 million at the farm ranch gate alone, ASI is building supportive data for USDA on a potential second round of assistance. Cox closed with a note that the association is likely the only national group to secure two commodities under CFAP and greatly appreciates the support of the Trump Administration and members of the United States Congress.
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue made the announcement that additional commodities are covered by CFAP in response to public comments and data. Additionally, USDA is extending the deadline to apply for the program to Sept. 11, and producers with approved applications will receive their final payment.
“President Trump is standing with America’s farmers and ranchers to ensure they get through this pandemic and continue to produce enough food and fiber to feed America and the world. That is why he authorized this $16 billion of direct support in the CFAP program and today we are pleased to add additional commodities eligible to receive much needed assistance,” said Sec. Perdue. “CFAP is just one of the many ways USDA is helping producers weather the impacts of the pandemic. From deferring payments on loans to adding flexibilities to crop insurance and reporting deadlines, USDA has been leveraging many tools to help producers.”
Additional details can be found in the Federal Register in the Notice of Funding Availability and at www.farmers.gov/cfap.
To ensure availability of funding, producers with approved applications initially received 80 percent of their payments. The Farm Service Agency will automatically issue the remaining 20 percent of the calculated payment to eligible producers. Going forward, producers who apply for CFAP will receive 100 percent of their total payment, not to exceed the payment limit, when their applications are approved.
Producers, especially those who have not worked with FSA previously, are recommended to call 877-508-8364 to begin the application process. An FSA staff member can help producers start their application during the phone call.
On farmers.gov/cfap, producers can:
- Download the AD-3114 application form and manually complete the form to submit to their local USDA Service Center by mail, electronically or by hand delivery to their local office or office drop box.
- Complete the application form using the CFAP Application Generator and Payment Calculator. This Excel workbook allows customers to input information specific to their operation to determine estimated payments and populate the application form, which can be printed, then signed and submitted to their local USDA Service Center.
- If producers have login credentials known as eAuthentication, they can use the online CFAP Application Portal to certify eligible commodities online, digitally sign applications and submit directly to the local USDA Service Center.
All other eligibility forms, such as those related to adjusted gross income and payment information, can be downloaded from farmers.gov/cfap. For existing FSA customers, these documents are likely already on file.
Click Here for ASI’s COVID-19 Resources.
USDA Offers Webinar for Added Commodities
The U.S. Department of Agriculture will host a webinar on Aug. 19 at 3 p.m. eastern time to discuss recently added commodities eligible for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program.
Join the USDA Farm Service Agency for detailed examples on specialty crops, nursery crops, cut flowers, eligible aquaculture and more.
Click Here to register for the free webinar.
Graded Wool LDP Rates See Substantial Changes This Week
American wool producers might want to take a look at this week’s Loan Deficiency Program rates, as there were some significant changes from the previous week on graded wools.
For instance, the effective repayment rate on graded wool finer than 18.6 micron dropped to $3.37 per clean pound. This means, this week, a producer can claim a 51 cent LDP in that graded micron range, if they still have beneficial interest and meet other requirements. The repayment rate for 18.6 to 19.5 graded micron dropped to $2.99 per clean pound – good for a 39 cent LDP. And for the first time in recent memory, there’s even an LDP (6 cents per clean pound) available on graded wools from 19.6 to 20.5 micron.
LDPs are also available – as they have been in recent months – on the coarsest graded wools: 42 cents per pound for wools in the 26 to 28.9 and 29 and above micron ranges. A 30-cent LDP is also still available for ungraded wool.
“We continue to work with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to review this program” said ASI Deputy Director Rita Samuelson. “We appreciate the assistance of USDA FPAC to avail the LDP program to the wool industry and review it annually to be sure it is as helpful as possible to American wool growers. The American wool industry has faced difficulties in the past two years, first because of the U.S.-China trade war and now with the COVID-19 pandemic. ASI encourages producers to meet with their local agency representatives to discuss ways in which they might benefit from these valuable programs, if they have not already.”
Click Here to learn more and check current rates.
ALB Hosting Online Butchery Workshop for Producers
The American Lamb Board is hosting a virtual lamb cuts and butchery workshop on Monday, Aug. 17, at 5 p.m. MST. The workshop will be hosted by Mark DeNittis, whose meat knowledge, butchery skills and culinary instruction are respected nationwide.
DeNittis has led several lamb classes and demonstrations for ALB through the years and helped develop ALB’s culinary education and fabrication guides for chefs and foodservice professionals.
Click here to view ALB’s Curriculamb section.
The workshop is designed primarily for producers who are interested in selling lamb directly to consumers. DeNittis will explore consumer friendly cuts, how to direct your local butcher to fabricate and ways to get the most value out of the carcass.
Click Here to register for the Zoom workshop.
If you cannot make the live session, a video of the workshop will be available upon request from email@example.com.
Australian Market Drops Slightly
The Australian wool market experienced an unusual week as all merino fleece types and all crossbred fleece types recorded increases, however, losses in the oddments and in the skirting market meant the overall market recorded a small loss.
The national offering reduced to 30,272 bales this week – 12,492 bales less than was offered the previous week. The smaller fleece offering attracted strong widespread competition. This stronger buyer sentiment pushed prices higher. Across the country, the individual fleece Micron Price Guides rose by 2 to 29 cents. Most sellers were keen to accept the higher prices on offer as the national passed in rate dropped to 8.2 percent. This was 21.8 percent lower than the passed in rate of the previous week. The crossbreds also posted increases, the crossbred MPGs rose by 4 to 23 cents.
The skirting market suffered small losses as all types and descriptions generally fell by 20 to 30 cents. As mentioned earlier, it was the dramatic losses in the carding sector that pushed the market down overall. Locks, stains and crutchings generally fell by 70 to 90 cents. On the back of these losses, the three merino carding indicators fell by an average of 72 cents.
Due mainly to the large losses in the carding sector, the AWEX Eastern Market Indicator fell by a marginal 2 cents, closing the week at 1,004 Australian cents. Compared to the corresponding sale of the previous season, the EMI is 509 cents lower – a drop of 33.6 percent. The EMI is now at its lowest point since August 2014. Due to currency movement, when viewed in USD terms, the fall in the EMI was slightly higher, the EMI lost 8 USc.
Next week’s offering increases slightly. Currently, there are 35,252 bales on offer nationally. Fremantle again only requires a one-day sale due to quantity, selling on Wednesday.
USDA Purchases Lamb Shanks from Superior Farms
The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced this week the purchase of 160,000 pounds of lamb shanks from Superior Farms as part of the department’s distribution to child nutrition and food assistance programs for fiscal year 2020.
The original solicitation on July 29 also called for the purchase of 159,600 pounds of lamb chops, but no bid was received on that part of the solicitation.
The shanks were purchased for a bid of $822,800.
ALB Offers Lamb Jam @Home
The American Lamb Board announced this week that all events of the 11th Annual Lamb Jam Tour have been cancelled. Before the country shut down in March, the tour was all lined up, with 16 chefs in each of the six markets ready to compete.
However, ALB had no choice but to cancel all 2020 Lamb Jam events. In its place, ALB will host a virtual Lamb Jam event for all of the consumers who purchased tickets in an effort to build awareness about the benefits of American lamb and inspire increased at-home usage.
The virtual Lamb Jam @Home will include presentations from American sheep producers, top chefs, butchers and beverage experts. Participants will also receive a coupon to purchase American lamb at their local grocery store. This approach will enable consumers to enjoy the fun of Lamb Jam from the comfort and safety of their own homes while cooking up their own lamb dishes.
- PRODUCER EDUCATION